02 June 2011

Lettuce Wrap or How to Use Garlic Scapes

Tangy, savory, springy, and fresh. As I bit into my hastily thrown-together lettuce wrap, I blinked in surprise. I didn't expect something so delicious. I paused and wondered where I had gone right.

George tried to grow maybe 30 garlic plants in our vegetable garden this summer. It turns out that garlic is a sturdy plant that is easy to grow and matures quite late in the season. Our garden now brims with garden plants, taking up space once occupied by vegetables you could eat sooner. That's why I was super relieved when George discovered that garlic plants make garlic scapes, which we can harvest and eat now.

Garlic scapes are like chives or green onions married to garlic. Raw, they offer a fresh tanginess with a bit of a burn at the back of your throat. My previous experience with garlic scapes was at Motorino, a fancy pizza place in NYC. I ordered a seasonal pizza with garlic scapes and just figured garlic scapes were some chic little-known herb-of-the-month for hipsters. Little did I know that garlic scapes are simply a by-product of garlic farming. Everyone should know about them! But I looked at them every day without a thought in my mind until George brought some into the kitchen and told me what they were.

Well, we didn't know what to do with them at first, except cook them on pizza. So we went and bought a frozen pizza, sprinkled chopped garlic scapes and sliced mushrooms on top, and baked. They were good that way. Real good. After that we had a bunch of leftover chopped scapes. So I mixed some with grated daikon radish and wasabi and put them in our somen noodle dipping sauce. They tasted fine in that, but kind of too hard for a dipping sauce.

Yesterday I felt a gaping abyss of Hungry open in my stomach so I ran to the refrigerator and made a quick snack. This is the recipe, and let me say, it was REAL GOOD. Garlic scapes and lime mayonnaise should get married and have lime-garlic-mayo babies.

Lettuce Wrap

1 flatbread or whole wheat wrap, microwaved or toasted until warm and flexible
1/2 tsp. McCormick's lime mayonesa or mayo whipped with a little fresh lime juice
a handful of garlic scapes, chopped
2 handfuls fresh springy lettuce

On the flatbread, spread the mayonnaise. Sprinkle with garlic scapes, top with lettuce, roll up tightly, and take a big bite. Chew.

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